Acharya Laxmikant Dixit, the chief priest who had performed the consecration of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, died Saturday morning.

Family members said Dixit, 86, was not well for the last few days. His last rites will be conducted at Manikarnika Ghat.

Lord Ram’s idol was consecrated at the Ayodhya temple on January 22 in an event led by Prime Minister Modi.

Counted among the senior scholars of Varanasi, Dixit was a native of Solapur district of Maharashtra but his family has been living in Varanasi for several generations.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath expressed grief over the death of Dixit.

In a post on ‘X’, he said, “The departure of Acharya Shri Laxmikant Dixit, a great scholar of Kashi and the chief priest of Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Prana Pratishtha, is an irreparable loss to the spiritual and literary world.”

“He will always be remembered for his service to Sanskrit language and Indian culture,” Adityanath said.

“I pray to Lord Shri Ram to give a place to the departed soul in his feet and give strength to his disciples and followers to bear this sorrow,” he added.